Diarrhea Treatment in Alwarpet, Chennai
Unhygienic food can upset your stomach. This might lead to loose and watery stools that might be termed a case of diarrhea. It can be acute or chronic depending upon the severity of infection. In some patients, it might last for a few days and may not need any treatment.
What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea can occur due to bacterial or viral infection. This can be a result of stomach flu, intestinal infection or irritable bowel syndrome. Diarrhea can cause dehydration or loss of a large amount of body fluid, electrolytic balance and kidney failure. Traveler's diarrhea is caused by a bacterial or viral infection that you might contract while on a vacation.
What are the types of diarrhea?
Diarrhea can be classified, based on its intensity, into:
- Acute diarrhea – It is loose, watery diarrhea that lasts for 1-2 days.
- Persistent diarrhea – It persists for around 2-4 weeks and causes weakness and leads to hospitalization.
- Chronic diarrhea – This diarrhea can last for more than 4 weeks and causes severe damage to the body.
What are the symptoms of diarrhea?
- Frequent urge to evacuate your bowels
- Blood and mucus in the stools
- A large volume of watery stools
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
What causes diarrhea?
- Viral gastroenteritis – virus that infects your bowel
- Infection by bacteria, preformed toxins and other pathogens
- Allergy and intolerance to certain foods, like lactose intolerance
- Radiation therapy
- Poor absorption of food
- Stomach surgery and gallbladder removal surgery
- Digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome
When do you need to see a doctor?
If you have persistent loose, watery bowels, dehydration, severe abdominal pain and high fever, then you must visit a diarrhea specialist near you. Your doctor will diagnose diarrhea by blood test, stool test and imaging test.
Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Alwarpet, Chennai.
Call 1860 500 2244 to book an appointment.
How is diarrhea diagnosed?
- Complete blood count helps indicate the cause of diarrhea
- Stool test helps check for the presence of bacteria or parasite causing diarrhea
- Imaging test checks for inflammation and structural abnormalities of the intestine
- Fasting test helps determine the cause of food intolerance or allergy
- Breath test is done to check for lactose intolerance and bacterial overgrowth
- Colonoscopy helps check the entire colon for intestinal disease
- Sigmoidoscopy helps check the rectum and descending colon for signs of intestinal diseases
How is diarrhea prevented?
- To avoid travelers’ diarrhea caused by viral or bacterial infection, you must take antibiotic treatment before leaving home.
- Drink bottled water and eat cooked food while on vacation.
- Get vaccinated against Rotavirus which is the major cause of diarrhea.
- Maintain hygienic conditions and store food properly.
What are the remedies?
Various home remedies can help you with diarrhea like:
- Add semisolid and low-fiber food to your diet
- Drink plenty of water, broth and juices
- Avoid consuming dairy products, fats, high-fiber food and spicy food for a few days
- Follow BRAT food (Banana, Rice, Apples, Toast)
- Consume probiotics to enhance the growth of healthy bacteria in your intestinal tract
How is diarrhea treated?
- Antibiotics – Antibiotics can be useful to treat bacteria, viruses and parasites responsible for diarrhea.
- Replacement of fluids – You must consume fluids like water, juices and broth that will maintain a balance of electrolytes, potassium, sodium in your body. Pedialyte and ORS replace lost fluids from your body.
- You can take over-the-counter medications like bismuth subsalicylate or loperamide.
If you are suffering from diarrhea for more than a couple of days, you must contact your doctor. You must look for symptoms like fever, vomiting, blood in stool, frequent stools, numbness and weight loss, etc.
You must avoid eating spicy food, dairy products, processed food, raw vegetables, fatty food, citrus fruits, corn, caffeinated and carbonated drinks to avoid diarrhea.
No, diarrhea is not fatal but if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. The major complication is dehydration.
Antibiotics change the balance of bacteria in the intestine, thus the colon gets overrun by pathogenic bacteria leading to colitis and then to diarrhea.
Honey has been found to shorten the duration of diarrhea caused by bacterial gastroenteritis due to its antibacterial properties.